Thursday, December 30, 2004

If You Want Some, Come Get Some, Cause Where I'm From We Tote Big Butt

Its been a while I know, but I figured I would squeeze in something before the new year. You motherfuckers are all aware that I don't update much when I am at home and even less so when I am at a home I am not always comfortable just sitting in the living room and typing away. Regardless, things have been good. I will mention a couple of the highlights of our weeks in the TC thus far.

I would like to do it chronologically, but I am too excited about one event which jumps out of order to delay it to its temporal ordering. So it will come first.

1) Empress Hippopotameow von Baxter-Kauf--that is the full landed title name of our new kitten. Karly, who rox incredibly hard, got her for us for Christmas. It was among the best Christmas presents I have literally ever received. I had no idea it was coming and I opened this unwrapped box on Christmas eve and she was just sitting there looking up at me. My mouth pretty much fell open and stayed that way for several minutes. Hippo, as we call her, is literally the cutest fucking cat in the entire world. She is pretty much the cutest non human thing in the enitre world. There are picures up on the moblog if you want to check them out. There will be many many many more to come. Besides her just being a kitten, which is awesome alone, she is a persian kitten, with the cutest flattest face you can possibly imagine. She is almost entirely white with a gray tail and a couple gray patches on her face. I could go on and on and on about all the adorable things this cat does, but to be honest with you, every fucking thing she does is adorable, and since she does things virtually all the time, it would be an excruciatingly long list. Rest assured that when she runs around and plays with her cat toys, or when she wakes us up by attacking our feet, I will continue to update.

2) Debate--the actual debates have been meh, I saw some pretty good rounds at Blake and participated in deciding the Central NFL national qualifiers. Edina has a team that is off the hook good as long as they aren't debating the K and I was coting for them pretty regularly until they ran into one of the few teams that is both in their league and runs the K well. I haven't seen the dominant half of this team enough to make alot of comparisons to other debaters, but in terms of raw speed for instance, he's up there with Scotty P. There were a couple times he was, in the 1ar, simply too fast to flow, not unclear, not unorganized, but just too quick. Regardless the actual debating paled in comparison to the surrounding good times. We got a free dinner at Manny's, which fucking rxd, I rolled the single porter again, and they cooked it to perfection. I finished that, most of Katie's 20oz NY Strip, a good amount of potatoes, mushrooms, and asparagus, and led the drive to complete the Manny's brownie sundae. Awesome as always. We also had a couple of good parties, the traditional coaches shindig which got broken up by the cops, a fairly low key Saturday gathering, and a Sunday night hang in the suite. Leading up to that hang I drank a quarter of a bottle of Knob Creek while watching the Pack lose, fell on my way accross Loring Park to Joe's Garage and twisted my ankle, hobbled the rest of the way there, ate a solid dinner (which, thanks to the fucking debaters, was low on mashed taters) and got a ride back. Then Tara, Bietz, Maggie, Dave, Amy, Travis, Natalie, Katie, and I finished that bottle of bourbon (actually, just Dave and I finished the bourbon) and made fun of dumbies. Solid. Solid.

3) Fam and the Holidays--We did Christmas eve at my dad's place, largely because the Pack and the Vikes were showing down hardcore. Paula was (and for that matter still is) in town for the holdiays and she cooked (with a teensy bit of my assistance) a delicious steak dinner with these fabulous italian potatoes (roasted baby reds with olive oil, mint, and a four buttloads of garlic) and a stilton cream sauce that was literally divine. My dad and I were both extremely pleased with the outcome of the afternoon, Bret had a great second half and it was a good early Christmas present. We came back to Katie's rents (where I got Hippo) and we continued the "Beef: its whats for dinner" motif of the break by having a full course fondue (both steak and cheese) and french silk for dessert. It was just awesome. We opened presents and stuff in both cases as well. There was another fantastic beef dinner on Christmas day, this featuring an awe inspiring horseradish sauce and some tasty garlic mased, but I will be sparse on details for now. We got and gave good presents, saw everyone in the fam and really enjoyed the spirit of the holiday.

Alright, time to play with Hippo, she is awake and frisky like an acrobat recently out of a coma. Happy new years to you all. If I don't holla till then, know that I will be drinking as much Ballatore Gran Spumante as my old frail body will allow, and I will tip back a bottle to you.



Thursday, December 09, 2004

It Just Takes Some Time, Little Girl You're in the Middle of the Butt

I have been somewhat busy recently, seeing as the end of the semester and all is fully upon us. More exactly, Katie and I are leaving Buffalo tomorrow to head back to the Twin Cities. I will mention a couple brief vignettes. I will include the Packers' loss in this intro because it was disgusting and I can't say more about it. On the bright side of Green Bay, I will be attending next Sunday's divisional match-up versus the Lions since my Dad has the tickets.

We went to the UMASS debate tournament and it was alright, but certainly not fabulous. A very small tournament certainly and very tiring and far too far away for my money. It was well run by the student led program at the Uuniversity of Massachussets, though it ended up having only one division, which kinda suxored for the novi who got rolled by the three or so decent open teams in the game. It will be odd returning to high school debate after only seeing CEDA East rounds for the last several months.

We are driving to Chicago tomorrow and crashing with James and Cassie before getting to Roseville to judge at Central NFLs. On a sad note, which will likely explain why I don't think I am going to have a chance to se my bro on the way into town at least, Katie's mom fell and borke her leg this afternoon and had to have surgery. I thought Katie was going to have to fly back this afternoon and I would be driving by myself, but it looks like that won't be necessary. Our thoughts are with her in the Twin Cities and we will follow them in person.

The end of the semester has been pretty interesting and very promising in terms of intellectual development. My plan is to step up my reading a bit over the break so that by the spring semester I am fully rolling. I know I can accomplish this if I actually work on it, I'm just perpetually nervous about my ability to do so.

That was brief and unintersting, so I will add an anecdote from my class tonight. Lacan makes some comment about how the voice grabs you at the perineum, which seems to be a reference to the Aquinian/Freudian/Lacanian discussion of being born/fucking between piss and shit. Anyway, the point was that someone had to explain what exactly the perineum was, which resulted both in one of the more racous periods of laughter I can recall in class when Steven (who talks pretty explicitly with his hands) was trying to explain the area between the genitals and the anus (he jokingly offered to draw a picture) and also resulted in what I believe may be the first instance in recorded history of academic discussion of the word "taint."

See you back in CST. Wish us luck in not forgetting anything.



Tuesday, November 30, 2004

We Were Meant to Be, Supposed to Be, But We Lost Butt

Want to read an article by a complete moron. Here you go: its Wendell Wittler's Top 10 Overrated Stars. There are some valid points in this article, which means simply, not every sentence it includes is complete fucking nonsense. Yes, Affleck is over rated. Putting him at number 10 should demonstrate one of two things to you immediately off the bat. Either this dude has insight like you've never seen, or he hasn't seen Reindeer Games. Recognizing that Affleck is overrated is not difficult, he makes top fucking dollar and hasn't been in a good film besides the one that he somehow was involved in writing.

I won't go off on number 9, though I strongly disagree that Keanu is overrated. It first, gives no credit to Bill and Ted, which were a fucking hilarious set of flicks, executed perfectly. It also fails to mention Point Break and, like much of the mainstream critique of The Matrix, is utterly incapable of recognizing that Neo couldn't have fucking been Jude Law, that was what made the role unique. The Wachowskis aren't fucking idiots, they knew that when Neo responded to Morpheus' leap with a "whoa!" that it would invoke Ted Theodore Logan and they used it. Regardless.

The real idiocy involved with this list peaks at number 6 when he includes Lorne Michaels. I was first surprised that Michaels even qualified as a star, being a moderately well known producer, but even more shocked when Wittler decided to go after the comic talent of SNL. There are things you can "critique" about SNL, obviously everyone has their favorite cast, largely dependent on the generation where you first watched/most often watched, the show. My parents love for the original is pretty much equivalent to my feelings about the glory days of the early-mid 90s. But to say that it hasn't produced any talent. Stop me when I have listed enough funny people for you:

Norm McDonald, Tim Meadows, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtain, Jon Lovitz, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Andy Kaufman, Chris Farley, Kevin Nealon, Dennis Miller, Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, David Spade, Tina Fey, Phil Hartman, Al Franken, Steve Martin, Gilbert Goddfried, Dana Carvey, Molly Shannon, Chris Elliot, Janene Garofalo.

But lets say that you weren't just saying there were no funny people on that show and assuming you don't think that list includes some of the funnies motherfuckers of all time. Even if you don't pay alot of attention to comedy and don't know how funny these folks actually are, neither Wendell nor myself have yet mentioned some people with pretty significant accomplishments.

--Mike Myers--even Cat in the Hat made money, everything he touches is gold, Austin Powers is an enormous franchise
--Bill Murray--both an incredible comedic actor and, with roles in smart-touching comedramas like Rushmore, Royal Tannenbaums, and Lost in Translation, a near Oscar winner
--Adam Sandler--there aren't many people in Hollywood today who demand a bigger salary than Sandler, who is an enormous star and has made some of the funniest movies of all time, most notably Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison, not to mention an extraordinarly beautiful performance in P.T. Andrerson's Punch-Drunk Love
--Chris Rock--the man who gave birth to the next generation of stand up comedy, who inhereited the legacy of Richard Pryor and ran with it, by all standards one of the greatest stand-ups, period
--Will Ferrell--Elf wasn't a fluke, people love Will Ferrell and Anchorman was drop-dead funny

I don't know that Lorne hand-picked every one of these bastards, but I'm pretty sure its not a coincedence that they were all on his show. Not to mention that he seems to blame Lorne for the fact that Belushi and Gilda are dead, which even the most whackjob conspiracy theories have never confirmed in my mind. I think its pretty easy to make the claim that there are as many, if not more, comedy legends, in the list above than there are outside of it. Yes, it doesn't include Seinfeld or Pryor. But who are the other comedy legends you are referring to? If you look at the great sitcoms: Cheers (made by an ensemble cast and good writing, Ted Danson is not a comedy legend) Frasier (I didn't even really think its THAT funny, but I find it hard to imagine Kelsey Grammar, who always seemed to be just a really good straight man to Niles, Daphne, his dad, etc. going in this category) MASH (Alan Alda really hasn't done anything funny since) Simpsons (even I can't yet make a case for Dan Castelleneta) who makes this list. I don't think there are really more than 5-10 comedy legends per decade and even if you agree that SNL is only getting 2-3 of them, I can't imgaine this qualifies as overrated. If you made 20-30 of AFI's top 100 films you would be the greatest director of all time. With 20-30 percent of baseball legends you would be, well, the fucking Yankees and I haven't heard the argument that they are an overrated franchise with the most championships in the history of pro-sports.

Finally, Madonna is number 3?!? Are you kidding me! What do you want from people, you put music legends and comedic legacies in with Shatner and the Governator. Here is his series of non-sensical arguments: " She's credited as "the first female pop star with complete control over her image"; in other words, nobody exploited her, she did it herself." This is somehow a dis? She used her sexuality herself and made assloads of money, not being exploited by the industry, are we in fucking opposite land. "Madonna's practice of constantly redefining herself has kept her one step ahead of serious scrutiny." She's not the fucking president, I don't think we need access to her financial disclosure. Again, when did redefining yourself to avoid being demonized by a rampant entertainment media become a character flaw? "And "Vogue" was one of the worst attempted dance crazes of the 20th Century. " In what sense was it an "attempted" dance craze? Don't like it, chure, but where is Kylie Minogue or the dude/ettes responsible for the Electric Fucking Slide. "She was the first performer NOT to be harmed by the discovery of an old sex movie" again, damn her for failing to be destroyed by our desire to elevate and crush our icons. "and a pioneer in concert lip-synching " I'll give you this, but a) she was dancing, her concerts were a show, not karaoke b) it doesn't diminish her musical capacity overall and c) how does lip synching qualify you for the top 5 overated of all time, I think your underthinking this list. "A whole second generation of "pop tarts" following in her footsteps prove that it wasn't that hard to do in the first place." I hope you aren't implying that one someone is powerful enough to establish/create/whatever a musical style which so resonates with the public that it becomes archetypical for the society at large, they are overrated. Do Justin and Usher prove that Michael Jackson should have made the list? Are Led Zeppelin and the Beatles less impressive because of Nevermind? Madonna is a legend, end of fucking story.

I know that was a long rant directed against one random article. But it really pissed me off and needed to be said. Maybe I will do something more narrative or descriptive or less inflammatory later on. Pack rocked last night by the way.



Thursday, November 25, 2004

Turkey-lurkey-doo and a Turkey-lurkey-dap, I Eat That Turkey, Then I Take a Butt

Day before turkey time and preperations are well underway. The bird, which we bought fresh today, weighs 14.88 pounds. We paid less than 5 bucks for it, about fiz-twiz actually. The coupon gave us the fresh bird for 29 cents a pound and it looks great. The brine is pretty much the same this year as it was last, this year featuring nectarines and lemons, with rosemary, thyme, and sage. There is a loaf of bread currently being produced for the stuffing and all the various ingredients are in place. I am gonna get up tomorrow around 11 maybe, maybe a teense earlier, and put the turkey-bird in the roasty-mc-roast pan so it can cook during the foozball game. Its gonna be tough to determine exactly towards who and when the boos will occur during the T-day brawl between two of the most evil franchises in sports history: Bears and Cowboys.

I fucking love Thanksgiving. I love it so much, without question my favorite holiday. The reasons for this are manifest, its all about cooking, eating, and football. There is no pressure involved in gifts or trees or decorations. You buy some food, you cook some food, you eat and drink all day. Its just fabulous, completely fabulous. Now, I am open to other people liking other holidays better, but what I refuse to tolerate is the hating on Thanksgiving which is so prevalent amongst the hippy crowd these days.

Look, you can be all vegheady and shit if you want, your loss. But don't give me the "turkey genocide" biznuts, you can imagine my feelings about it. I won't go into it today. Waste an oppotunity to cook up an entire bird if you want, I will feast on everything this 15 pound gobbler has to offer.

More relevantly are those political objections to the holiday. Look, feel free to hate on Columbus day for the destruction of Native Americans, Columbus was apparently a dick. Hate on Valentine's Day because its commercial. Whatev. But look, Thanksgiving is not a celebration of arrival in this country, its not a celebration of "discovery." Its a celebration of giving fucking thanks. Yes, that originated in the context of the "pilgrims" but could have well just originated last week in my basement. The point of the holiday is to recognize the wonderful things in your life that the daily shitfucking sort of overshadows. If you let the fact that certain holidays have their origins during periods of quesionable history ruin them for you, you'll pretty much not enjoy your life so much.

Not to mention that just because something is associated with people that did some shitty stuff doesn't mean we should abandon the good things we have as a result. Should we abandon all the medical discoveries that are direct results of experiments done during the holocaust? Not giving up a large part of contemporary medical science doesn't consitute endorsement of those events. Isn't even living in this geographic space a direct result of the same occupation that resulted in the destruction of Native populations? Again, that is not to say that what was done is in anyway acceptable, obviously it wasn't. But if following in any of those traditions is a problem, give me a call from the other side of the Atlantic (or wherever you may be from) and we can talk. If you do this holiday correctly it should not be in any way offensive. Much to the contrary, it should be observant of all sorts of historical injustices, explicitly related and otherwise. Anyway, thats my pointless and not very articulate rant. I fucking love thanksgiving.

As a couple of more relevant notes. First is a porn site? Seems like an odd domain name to select for that purpose, but I'm not the one with the advertising degree from Stanfod, what would I know. It even seems to feature a "free ass ezine" which is pretty awesome if you ask me. I haven't read it, but I did have to make a zine for AP Composition in high school, so I think I have a good idea what is inside. I wish I would have come up with the idea to theme it around "ass" rather than whatever the fuck I thought was cool in high school.

Second, I know I am a Favre-fanboy, I proclaim it loudly. Every week that he does something awesome or historic and the press spends all weekend talking about him, I wonder what football will be like without him, if I will ever think about another professional athlete like I think about Bret Favre. I don't know how his numbers will finish up, he may not overtake Marino in any of the big categories. Nonetheless, every passing day I find it harder to say that he isn't the best ever to play that position. Today's front page on Favre and Len Pasquerelli's article spurred this specific mention. Maybe he will only finish with one Super Bowl, we'll see what I have to say about him when its all over, but I think thats still a ways off.

So I intended to post this last night, but its obviously Thanksgiving now, so I might as well add a brief passage before I do so. We made dinner today and it was indeed quite awesome, despite the complete lack of adequate kitchen space. My turkey was incredibly delicious and is pictured, both pre and post roasting, on the moblog.I really don't think there is a question that it is the best turkey I have ever fabricated. It was incredibly moist, the brine set exactly how I wanted it. I also managed to roast it a little slower than usual and by alternately tenting and untenting the breast while keeping the thighs covered everything hit 168 exactly at the point the exterior was dead on. I also made a stuffing, built upon a homemade loaf of bread, a cup or so of crushed toasted walnuts, about a pound of parsley-pork sausage, some onions and celery sauted with butter and garlic. I would have spiced it up to the trinity (i.e. add green bell peppers) but Katie votes neg. The stuffing was packed pretty tight so it was perfectly crisp on the outside and just the right level of gooey in the middle. Katie did the potatoes and corn, which were wonderful as always. She also made her classic "lionheart dinner rolls" which were divine and will serve as the rock upon which I shall build my turkey sandwiches for days to come. We have a full 2 dozen and they are a perfect set, one pan is light and airy, the other a golden brown leaning towards Amber, like they are pre-toasted with a fluffy interior that screams for a pat of butter.

My gravy really may have matched up with the turkey bird, caue it was great. I had read a couple articles on gravy recently and watched AB's sauce making show on meat gravies, so I was well prepped. I cooked the roux a little longer than usual and altered the proportions based on a suggestion by Cooking Club Magazine so that there was a bit mroe fat. I also boiled the turkey fat on its own for a minute, letting the brown-bits of goodness beome fully deliciosified before any flour went in the pan. I also took AB's advice and thinned the gravy just moments before serving, so it would remain at approximately the consistency I wanted it. I think Katie's greatest accomplishment for the day, besides looking simply radiant, is yet to come as we have not tasted the pecan pie which is cooling atop the kitchen counters as I type. We got some whipped cream ready to whip and oooh baby are we gonna continue the feast.

While technically this was Katie and my second Thanksgiving together as a couple, it was our first Thanksgving as a married couple, so we got to break out our wedding china. It was the first time for that and they really are quite pretty. We had the gravy bowl, plates, waterford glasses, etc. While I miss all our family and friends, there is always something fun about spending a holiday wrapped up at home with my wife. Anyway, I will let you all get back to your leftovers, pies, and t-day nights. I have had a pretty fantastic year and have alot to be thankful for, I hope the same is true and will be ever more so for you and yours.



Monday, November 22, 2004

Got My First Real Six String, Bought it at the Five and Butt

So here is my one Monday Night Football note. No fucking introduction? Thats electro-weak. Naked Nicollete Sheridan jumps on T.O., and now I get no celebrity with a witty joke or stereotypical character play. What the fuck? If there is no spiffy intro next week believe me that abc will get a letter from me. Well, maybe you shouldn't believe me, since I have yet to deliver on my promises to write Arby's, McDonalds, or the MTZ, amongst many others. Anyway, that blows.

A couple snack related comments. First, to Pepperidge Farm: there is no need to make "single serving verions" of your cookies. One of the bags is one fucking serving of cookies. Its a damn expensive serving of cookies, maybe its even 1.5 if you are on a diet, but no more than that. If you can open a Pepperidge Farm cookie bag, eat a suggested serving size, and close the bag, you have too much fucking willpower. Get a job with the CIA and direct it towards nuclear secrets or something and have another Milano. The folks at PF also seem to have decided that the Milano is now just an adaptable cookie format, like you can make it any freaking flavor you want. Mint Milano, chure, I will give you that one, good call. Even mocha, I am down. But orange? Orange milanos? Come on, I know that chocolate and citrus work alright together, but give it a rest. You make like a billion dollars every time you sell a single bag for like $21.95, no need to expand that market.

Secondly, Mountain Dew, who seems to think about the same thing on the subject of their feature beverage, actually hit the jackpot with grape. In my mind cherry and orange suck donkey but something about the grape-dew combination just jives. It works really well in other beverages too, I should note. The grape-lemonade or "Purple-Saurus Rex" phenomenon is brilliant and my own personal creation of the "Grape Kool-a-Tini" is a wonderful concoction if I have ever seen one. The grape martinis I have had in a couple of swanky bars support that theory but without the "ooooh yeah!!!" power that the Aid brings to the party.

Black and Decker auto-tape!! That is fucking brilliant. Since I have all the handy-person skill of a panda bear without any of the white and black furry cuteness, I have no need for such a device, but what a great idea. You can take a virtual tour of the auto-tape here.. I especially like the descriptions of its various applications including "Hang things on a wall" which is just brilliantly specific. Why don't they just put "Measure shit" as number five. Great idea though. If I ever have to install a shelf I know what I am picking up.

Katie comes back tomorrow and thank God as I am going crazy. Not having anyone to talk to is okay for a day or two, but gets old real fast. Not to mention that with this weekend being the Glenbrooks there was no one online the whole time. I don't think I spoke to anyone who wasn't either a cashier or on the telephone all weekend. I guess one of the Bud Girls said hello and even though it was the Ashlee Simpson lookalike, it really don't count.

Ah a good old brief random collection of pointless observations and obsessive takes. Gotta love that shit.



Everybody's Talkin' All this Stuff About Me, Why Don't They Just Let Me Butt

OMG what a finale. I think I woke up the building, I was a little loud when the Pack came back. Despite two interceptions, both of which I should note, were fabulous plays by the Texans DBs, Bret had an incredible night. Threw a great touchdown pass to Driver and almost 400 yards. This is in a world where we had almost NO running game, where the defense was 100% certain of what was going to happen, and they couldn't stop him. The Packer D came up strong when they needed to as well, Al Harris recovered from some beatings he took early and the line actually got some pressure, Grady Jackson most notably, stepped up hard. Bret orchestrated a 2 minute drive, got them into field goal range, and Longwell inched one just over the crossbar. Nailbiter if there ever was one.

The last sports topic for the day, I swear. If you haven't seen the Ron Artest footage, first of all, buy a fucking TV hippy. Then watch it on or any of another billion websites. The summary is that someone threw a beer at Artest after a fight and he went bezerker on the bit, leaped into the stands and started swinging. The fight continued and he punched a bunch of other dudes on the floor, along with O'Neal and Jackson. It is really a disgusting video to see these huge dudes coming after these scrawny Detroit fucks. Anyway, my takes on some relevant details.

--the fans: yes, these guys are dicks. Its disrespectful to throw shit at anyone, thats why it was rule one on the RHS debate squad (I'll take Cort Sylvester over David Stern any day of the week by the way). Its even more so to do it to an athlete in the game. You are a fan, there to watch. You can yell and scream and cheer and boo, but you are there to watch and thats all. The fans started it and in that respect they bear some responsibility.

--the players: I understand that emotions run high and I even get fights amongst players. You want to push another dude on the court, well, I think you are a punk, but we already knew that about Artest. Going into the stands is absolutely unacceptable. For one thing, the players have to be held to a higher standard. They are making millions and their job is not simply to play basketball, but to be personalities, to be for a public. You have to be able to put up with abuse from the fans. If some dude ran onto the court and swung at Artest, this would be different. Not to mention that this dude is in prime fucking condition. He is an elite athlete among the best in his sport. I know he's not a boxer, but he's got in a fuckload better shape then the dudes he went at. Look at them, a fat guy about 5'10" in a baseball hat and a skinny dork wearing glasses. You have to recognize the purely physical power differential here and be the bigger person.

--race: this morning on The Sports Reporters they were discussing how this all looks to the broader public, especially one that is not huge sports fans. They turn on the news on Saturday and see three huge athletic black men going after much weaker white suburban guys. Is is fair that this taints their perception of the incident, absolutely not. Nonetheless, it does. One of the biggest problems the NBA has is the perception that its players, more often than not African-Americans of lower socio-economic class, is very negative. Obviously the NBA has to be careful that it doesn't react to this by overpunishing the offenders to make up for the perception.

--the suspension: I'm entirely with Stern on this one. Artest should be suspended for the season. I actually think Jackson got off too lightly, since he took some big swings as well without even being provoked like Artest. You cannot have this happening and this is the signal that should be sent. It punishes Artest to the tune of over 5 million bucks and I would be surprised if Indiana makes much of a run missing three starters and their two best players. To ban him from the game would have been too much, that would have given the image that they are removing "fiesty" black superstars from the sport. I think the suspnesions will stand and while I recognize that the players union has to represent its members, they are wrong here. Don't pretend that this action is representative of a group of people which is predominantly made up of good competitors and admirable athletes. This is renegade bullshit and I wish the players union said, "alright, we get it." The fans are the life-blood of the game and downplaying the importance of something which threatens the safety of the people who keep it going is stupid. This isn't an on the court fight or a rap contract.

Alright, thats all I will blather about. Apparently you all get to suffer because Katie is out of town and I don't have anyone to talk to. I suppose you don't have to read and its not really like I break down the NBA with Katie either, but you get the drift. No sports tomorrow, beyond maybe a brief MNF mention if I am watching. One final note. You should download "We Used to Be Friends" by the Dandy Warhols. Its the theme from Veronica Mars and an all around great tune. That and "Let's Go" (the Trick Daddy song with Little John) are currently my faves.



Sunday, November 21, 2004

How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down, Before You Can Call Him a Butt

The Pack is currently behind the Texans. Their first two offensive drives were okay, though lacking Najeh is not going to help Ahman get any sort of consistent running game going. Bret has looked okay. I can't believe we didn't get a touchdown on the last possession, it was officially ridiculous that the play was called for a 5 yard reception on 3rd and goal from the 7. Not a good choice.

Anyway, Katie is in Winston-Salem at the Wake Forest debate tournament this weekend. She has been gone since Friday morning. I had a dentist appointment and did a little work, but besides that Friday and Saturday were entirely uneventful. I watched an arseload of tv, including some hella good college games on Rivalry Saturday. I was scared for Auburn, but they came around in the second half. I also got to see Utah for the first time this season and am really really pleased that they will likely get a BCS bid, I think it at least indicates that the system is not entirely flawed in respect to the mid-major conferences. I do think they are going to encounter another problematic situation with the undefeateds, but there are still the conference championship games around to fuck eveything up for the top 3.

Today was much more eventful. I went to mass and drove to the reservation to buy some hella cheap gas. It always used to be about 12 cents cheaper than the cheap gas stations near our house. Today those gas stations were at 2.06 and Smokin' Joes was retailing Unleaded for 1.86!!! Thats 20 fucking cents off!! It was by far the least I have paid for gas since we were in Minnesota and the least we have paid in New York state in what I would imagine is close to a year. So that was solid. I left from there to make my way to the Niagara Fallsview Casino in Canada. This is all documented, I should add, on my mizoblog! (THAT IS THE WEAKEST FUCKING CALL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD, THAT WAS NOT A FUCKING LATE HIT, OH MY GOD, THATS FUCKING RIDICULOUS, ITS FOOTBALL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, TACKLING IS NOT AGAINST THE RULES, FUCKING PRICKS--sorry, that did not make me happy) Anyway, I crossed over the bridge and got to the casino about 10 after one. The place is brand new, literally just opened this past summer. It is much much nicer than all the other casions around here, marble and wood everywhere inside, metal and glass out. Right when you get in there is one of the neatest foutains I have ever seen. I can't really describe it and all the pictures I attempted to take failed miserably.

I was in Niagara Falls for the Tailgate Buffet that has been so heavily advertised on WGR 55, the local sports station. It sounded good and it lived up to that promise. It also turned out to be magnificently well priced since the 12.95 it was advertised for turned out to be 12.95 Canadian. I would imagine its a somewhat typically American arrogance to just fail to acknowledge that something priced in another country is according to their currency unless otherwise noted, but every time I purchase something in that country I am pleasantly surprised to get my change back. I had chosen the tailgate buffet because of the menu descriptions I had heard and it lived up to them entirely. Today's lineup, which apparently shifts a little bit from week to week, included: buffalo wings, bbq ribs, pasta, bratwurst, fajitas, nachos, chili, and a brownie-cookie assortment. Obviously none of these were the best of their category that have ever been made, but they were all tasty and I ate more than my fair share. I limited myself to two plates of food per quarter, not including desserts, which were on little plates and therefore seperate from regular buffet trips. What was also very impressive was that they came with all the relevant fixins, which are often lacking in the buffet experience. There were onions and peppers and sour cream and cheese and tomatahs and salsa etc. There was mustard and onions and kraut for the wurst, blu cheese for the wings, you know.

The other big draw for the buffet was the 25 FOOT HDTV. I don't know what seperates this tv, which was just a huge projection screen, from other movie projectors, but it was gorgeous. You know how regular projection screens sort of distort the picture and look a little grainy or lined. This one had none of that, it was crystal. If they showed the Pack on that screen I would consider leaving my house to go watch it, because it is a beautiful sight to behold. The other supposed draw was the "Bud Girls" who were just two skinny girls in red budweiser t-shirts and black pants who asked excessively annoying triva questions during the commercials. One of them looked vaguely like Ashlee Simpson but I don't understand who would come to "get their picture taken with the Bud Girls."

The game was enjoyable and the Bills' win had the crowd in an enjoyable mood. I was the only person by myself, I would imagine, and since they played music and did trivia during the commercials I had time to think. One of the things I wondered about was why professional football coaches seem to have absolutely no understanding of the rules involved in the Challenge system of instant replay. I know I am not (SHIT, AHMAN GREEN IS GOING IN THE LOCKER ROOM ON THE CART, LET BRET OPEN IT UP DAMN IT, WHY THE FUCK ARE WE TAKING A KNEE, WE ARE DOWN BY 10!?!?! WHAT...THE...FUCK) professionally involved with the game and I don't know everything, but you can't understand the basics of what can and cannot be reviewed. He was pushed out of bounds, throw the flag. Don't throw the fucking flag you dipshit, its not reviewable. Do you ever watch professional football? Have you played Madden? I want to challenge that pass interference call. Too bad you ass, its one of like 5 things you can't review. I'm not asking them to memorize some complicated set of codes. You don't even have to remember all the things that are and are not reviewable, how bout just basic concepts. Lets start with this, judgement calls, not reviewable. If it cannot be established factually you can't review it. Start with that and we can move on to adding a 5th crappy halfback pass to the playbook next week.

I know this has been a little sports heavy, so I will be merciful and spare you my commentary on Ron Artest and how happy I am with his suspension until later. Maybe not blogging will push the Packers to play a decent second half. Go Pack Go.



Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Its Early Morning, The Sun Comes Out, Last Night Was Shaking, and Pretty Butt

Packers win a big one and a tight one at home. Their offense may be as good as their defense is bad, which is indeed saying something. With the exception of the Colts I don't think there is a better offense in the NFL right now, if for no other reason then they are great when they are balanced and have the potential to go entirely one way or the other if the ground game fails or Brett is just off. The Vikes are obviously in this discussion as well of course, if they have Randy Moss yesterday I can't imagine that we would have won the game. Even if Al Harris had the fantastic game he did against Burleson against the Freak, Mark Roman wasn't going to shut down Burleson, so we got lucky in that respect. Finally, the game was horribly officiated in virtually all respects. There were some awful calls and some awful spots. We got the benefit of some of those and got fucked on a couple as well.

Anyway, if you would have told me the Pack would be leading the NFC North after week 10 I would have been pretty pleased. I am happy that we will probably end up at least 500, though I am now frustrated with how bad our defense is. I know I'm a homer on this front, but I think if you add a defense to this organization you can make a big run with this offense. We can't stop fucking anyone in any circumstance. 4th and 26 will haunt us until we get another Reggie White, preferably one who isn't a biggoted fuck. I hope Mike McFuckenzie is happy. Fucker. Not that having Sharper hurt helps. It just blows that Javon Walker is becoming one of the elite receivers in the NFL, we have the best power running game in the league, and Bret, while obviously not the player he was in the mid-late nineties, can still show up for 4 touchdowns and a 120+ QBR, and we still were at 1-4 one point this season.

Since the Packers did manage to pull off the win, yesterday was overall a fucking awesome day to watch football. I switched between the New York Football Jets versus the Ravens and Vick's Falcons taking on the Bucs, then it was the Pack, then the Bills at the night game. The Bills suck hard by the way, Willis McGahee is great and the defense doesn't suck total ass (I would give everything to have their D in the NFC North) but the O Line blows and Bledsoe could swallow his own ass. So regardless.

One final sports related note, I have the ESPN bottomline on my computer, so its like having an 1-2 hour old sports ticker at the bottom of my internet explorer window. Anyway, you can select what sports you want it to give you headlines for and I have pretty muhc everything, including the NHL. I laugh hysterically everytime the ticker comes around to the NHL because these are literally the first 5 headlines on it:

Phoenix at Boston (DELAYED)
Philladelphia at Montreal (DELAYED)
Dallas at Toronto (DELAYED)
Los Angeles at Nashville (DELAYED)
Edmonton at Colorado (DELAYED)

It fucking cracks me up that they just left the schedule on there even though all the games were canceled, how ridiculous is that shit. I mean, I have never been the world's biggest NHL fan, but I like to read the Wild blurbs and watch a couple games with the boys when I am in the TC. Buffalo is really depressed about the whole situation, especially insofar as the city effectively doesn't have an NFL team now either. So thats that.

Alejandro Jimenez is in Hawaii. Seriously, I know there are some shitty things about working for the airline industry these days, but at least the going to Hawaii without going all bank-cracky and shit balances some of that out. It was snowing here the other day and A.J. was on a fucking white sandy beach in front of a green-blue ocean. He is going from that lovely paradise to the wonderland of Eugene, Oregon to spend some time with APK and Triple-siz-nan-jizzle-jay. Looking forward to those stories you should be.

Katie is addicted to Spider Solitaire, this is an addiction that I feel somewhat responsible for, but she has really taken it to a new fucking all-time level. I mean, I like Spider Solitaire and I probably play a game or two on occassion, during debate tournaments more than that. Anyway, literally, if you want to communicate with Katie at this point you have to begin your sentence with "You can put the red eight..." or she won't even turn her head. We orderd pizza tonight and I think it was because making the biscuits we had planned for would have taken at least two games of medium difficulty. There are times you can see she is watching tv or whatever, but imagining moving a whole stack of cards into a free area and exposing the one 6 she needs for it all to fall into place.

Finally, I blew up a candle yesterday. I don't know how that happened, but I lit a candle, I set it on the table and I let it burn. It was getting down pretty low, maybe that is relevant maybe not, I have no fucking clue. Anyway, about half an hour later I hear a pop and the candle (which I should note, is encased in a glass thing) literally blows up. One piece of glass shoots out about a foot, a bunch of others just short of fall onto the table, the whole thing cracks down the middle, and there is glass dust (at least my paranoia determined it was glass dust, it may have just been soot or somethign) all over the place. I cleaned it up but I have another candle burning now and I am scared that its gonna put my eyes out.



Saturday, November 13, 2004

Little Jackie Paper, Loved that Rascal Puff, Brough him String and Sealing Wax and Other Fancy Butt

"His band saw moves through that wood like Amazing Grace on bagpipes moves through my heart." Thats a direct quote from the former Cliff Claven. I was surfing las cannels (thats what I have decided is Spanish for channel and while I don't think its too far off, chances are pretty high that its not exactly right) and stopped by his show "Made in America" on the Travel Channel. Its kind of a neat show but he is boring as dick, he is like the opposite of Marc Summers, who could host "America's Sloppiest Butts" and would make it at least sound interesting. Anyway, the show was about Carousels, and kind of interesting, so I watched them show the reconstruction of an old school wooden carousel horse and that was his description. How the mighty have fallen.

Dude, Collective Soul is BACK!!! Seriously you don't have to wait any longer, no more lingering over your old Collective Soul CDs lamenting the lack of new Collective Soul. Your soul need not remain individual any longer, because the new CD, Youth has debuted motherfuckers. That was the essence of the commercial I just saw. That's right, someone decided that they should put out a commercial on television (it was the Travel Channel at least) to let people know about the new Collective Soul album. Good use of ad dollars. That 30 second spot means that pretty much everyone who heard the "Whoa-oh-ah-oh, Heaven Let Your Light Shine Down" lyric and thought, hey I used to like that song, and decided to give it a run at Best Buy, their purchases are required just to break even. I'm not saying that their comeback won't amount to that of lets say, REO Speedwagon or Quiet Riot or Chumbawumba or anything, just that, when you are Collective Soul, you need to carefully consider your situation before embarking on an aggressive marketing campaign.

We had lunch at Don Pablos on Wednesday while our credit cards were being fucked in the bu...I mean our car was being fixed. It was awesome. Katie has this odd aversion to Don Pablos for some reason, while I have a number of very positive associations with it. She says that she is not a huge fan of Mexican food but she really likes fajitas and the fajitas at Don Pablos are pretty much the stone cold nultz. Anyway, regardless, she was trying to be nice to me because my back hurt and I was all pissy about the car so we went to the big Pab'. On Wednesdays, at least out here in Assalo, they have a deal where you get Don's classic fajitas for 8 bucks, which is a pretty good deal in my mind. You can get chicken, steak, or chicken/steak and chow the fuck down. Katie ate almost all of hers and I wolfed mine and I will admit that I was completely stuffed afterwards. Nonetheless, we opted to pick up an order of delicioso sopapillas. Those sopapillas don't look exactly like the ones at Don Pablos, which are served with some sort of honey-brandy-butter sauce and powdered sugar rather than just cinnamon sugar like some sort of thin mexican donut. Katie, for some reason, is not a huge fan of the sopapillas, but she at least had to concede that I wasn't delusional in my love for them. I was really pleased by that lunch, but I realize now that it wasn't much of a story. As a kicker to what might be an otherwise boring paragraph, I give you this brainteaser: why, when I searched google images for sopapillas did I get this chick?

I wrote a course proposal for teaching next year and I think its pretty good. Its on American Literature and the Death Penalty, based on a conversation Katie and I had a while back on the subject. At the moment it includes a couple of hella long books (Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song, Robert Coover's The Public Burning, and Truman Capote's In Cold Blood) some others (Dead Man Walking, A Lesson Before Dying) and some theory (Foucualt, Discipline and Punish, Derrida articles on the death penalty and forgiveness). I like it, my thought is that it would be both effective and interesting and fits in with a bunch of the shitty the department wants to teach to undergraduates. The other class I would really like to propse is on Literature and Fashion, but I am just not sure exactly what fits in. I think Bret Easton Ellis has a role to play there and maybe juxtaposed with somethign interesting like Bridget Jones Diary or something. I need to do some research.

Shit, Wisconsin is losing to Michigan State. That is no good. I have never been a huge badger fan, but I thought this team was pretty much legit. I also thought they would make a legit run at a national championship, though with the way USC and Auburn are playing, I am pretty sure they will be stuck playing for number three at best. On the bright side the Gophs didn't play horribly against Iowa and I finally get to see Auburn play someone who doesn't lick goat-ass. I don't see USC play much given the whole living on the whole opposite side of the country thing, though they are on TNT a fair amount. But based on the way they are handling Georgia I have to think Auburn is gonna make this interesting. Enough of my blather. Big football game tomorrow and while we really should get pounded by the Vikings offense, they are missing Randy Moss and its not like their D is anything to write home about either. One way or another the NFC North will begin taking shape tomorrow.



Sunday, November 07, 2004

I’m So Glad I Found You, I’m Not Gonna Lose You, Whatever it Takes I Will Stay Here With Butt

So I intended to blog the day after the election but ever since I have felt that I would be obligated to speak about politics if I did so, and frankly, I am not up to it. I will say only this, I am not likely to be inspired to a democratic eleciton at any point in the near future. I am predictably disheartened and don't really understand any possibility for a realistic democratic victory in the near future. I dig on the idealistic visions of impossible politics and the like, but being forced to think about it in the sense of some actual victory has skewed my perspective like a conditional timeframe PIC to time allocation. On the bright side, when the votes were all counted, my dad officially ownzed the Rosemount city council race. If you look at the district by district breakdown you will see that he swept the town and especially cleaned up in the Shannon Parkway area that we lived for so many years. This was a little surprising, since I thought our neighbors were sort of sick of us and our shennanigans, but I guess the high school parent-demographic which is so prevalent in that area made up for it.

In another promising development, the oppressive Monopoly which Arby's has so long perpetrated on the good people of Lockport is over. That's right, Wendy's is now taking credit cards. You may have forgotten my rants about the fact that no one in this town knows vagina about dick when it comes to the fast food market, i.e. Arby's was the only place that took credit cards. Katie gets really annoyed at the repeated way I articulate why pretty much everyone who isn't selling sweet corn from a roadside stand should be taking credit cards, so I will be brief. McDonald's: you are the largest restaurant chain in the world. You are worth like a trillion gazillion dollars. Fucking suck it up and put credit card terminals in every store. KFC: credit cards should be mandatory at any place where people can be reasonably expected to spend approaching or in excess of 20 dollars. Pick up a family meal and a drink and you exceed that when you dine with the Colonel. Those are the two primary offenders. Mad props go to Wendy's, who are only about 4 or so years behind the times. Now maybe they will start having the fucking quarter-pound doublestack with cheese...

I have officially seen the greastest commercial of all time. I don't think I have mentioned it in the past, but it is truly hilarious. It is a commercial for the Scrubbing Bubbles Auto-Shower Cleaner. Basically, the little scrubbing bubble guy just sings (in the best voice imaginable for a bubble, I should add) "Touch me in the morning, then just walk away." I know I have a dirty mind, but I don't see how anyone can not find that more than slightly suggestive. What I just discovered in doing the prep work for this entry (oh yeah jeuce, there is all sorts of research that goes into producing this mammajammer) is that this commercial is quoting a song by Diana Ross. I don't feel bad about knowing this since I don't fucking listen to Diana Ross, but I also don't think it makes this commercial any less funny. I think it would in fact be pretty sweet if they had Diana sing the tune in a bubble outfit for the next set of commercials. If you don't laugh at a bubble suggesting early morning manual sexual stimulation then you, my friend, need to loosen up.

The last of the links involved in today's link fest is an answer to those of you who constanly retort to me, "Baxter(-Kauf) you cannot possibly look like Dom Deluise, never ever." To you I reply, "Go Fuck Yourselves.". Long live the moblog.



Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Got In a Little Hometown Jam, So They Put a Rifle in My Butt

I don't believe I will be going to sleep with absolute knowledge of who the president will be. I have some ideas of course, but I don't think it will be certain. At this point that simply means we haven't been officially ruled out. I am not a particularly optimistic man, but I am not confident that the nation has made the right decision.

I really do wonder how people outside this country perceive the US election system. This seems like something which shouldn't be happening in a country where we have 4-5 24 hour news channels, billions of dollars of cameras and reporters at every fucking polling place in the country. I won't pretend that I have any opinions about foreign politics based on either thorough study or direct experience, I probably know less about them than just about anyone, but the whole idea of not knowing who won an election seems so old school. I don't buy any of the arguments that it makes the country appear weak or indecisive. I don't really even understand the arguments whereby the country needs a quick and apparent winner so as to move on.

The reason I don't understand that is because at the end of this whole situation there is no fucking chance that the country will rally around the winner. I mean no chance at all. Issues like Iraq and the economy break overwhelmingly for Kerry while terrorism (how the fuck you seperate terrorism and Iraq and go a fucking 60 point swing between them is like the fruit of ass to me) and morals break hideously to the right. I don't think we are quite to John Stewart's quips about "election, recount, race war" but the general sentiment is dead on. I think I would probably have to consider it a win if there was some sort of gridlock and compromise, given the alternatives. I don't want to be alarmist and I am not going to predict something specifically bad happening, but I just cannot imgaine that this election will end up being unimportant.

As another question: if we lose this election and actually show some huge youth voter turnout, will this decimate the youth voting movement? I have to speculate that it will. In that world we did pretty much everything possible to increase dominantly liberal groups and still failed to pull it off. For all practical purposes, when Gore lost, I promised myself that I wouldn't vote for the mainstream candidate simply because they had the chance to win. I turned around and broke that rule immediately upon the next presidential election, but I cannot imagine doing it again if the country says yes to four more of Bush. I will have more to say about this later, win or lose.

Did Larry King just skip high school math to drop acid every day or something? Maybe someone needs to hand him Wolf Blitzer's fucking clipboard. I've already memorized every fucking EV count left on the map, this buttfucker can't add three single digit numbers and compare them to 21. At this point I would rather have a dealer from Mystic giving me electoral analysis than this assball. Every eighteen seconds he asks if there is a way we can get to 270 tonight. Dude, no one besides NBC and FOX (who are either going to get mad props or "Dewey Defeats Truman" mockery as a result of this) have changed shit since they called Alaska, did you forget to take your ritalin?

Final note, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has called the all important Rosemount City Council Election. You can go here (` ) and scroll down to Rosemount or check out ({43FA420A-C214-412C-BA4F-A2AB253719E1} ) to see the place by place dominance. Yeah-rah for my dad. I'm sure I will have further analysis of this manana.

Alright, I am going to sleep either in the bed or on the couch, I'll probably drop by with thoughts tomorrow.



Ride the Tiger, You Can See His Stripes But You Know He’s Clean, Oh Don’t You See What I Butt

It is 11:45. It appears that we will lose Florida. That means if we hold eveything we are expected to hold and win Ohio we still have a chance. Absent that there is trouble. I don't really know what else to say here, though I should mention that MSNBC has a pale immitation of NBC's pale immitation of Donna. She has lighter red hair but also no turtleneck, so there is a little of the column a/column b situation.

I am already tired and I really didn't expect to be. I was pretty certain that I wouldn't be going to sleep before 1 or 2 at the very earliest, but I am already tired and to be honest, slightly discouraged. Tim Russert and Chris Matthews are not nearly as entertaining this year as they were in 2000 and Wolf Blitzer acts like he is reading things off his clipboard when they are quite obviously on a teleprompter. I like to hope that at the very least you have something written on that paper, but dude, when you announce something as "breaking just now" don't look down at your clipboard like it was a fucking Ouija board. It didn't break just now on the sheet of plastic you grabbed out of the CNN gift shop on your way to the show.

Final thing, maybe it has been like this for a long time, but the fact some big park-like square area in Rockefeller Center is named "Democracy Plaza" is fucking stupid. If this is a direct result of 9/11 than its just non-sensical, I mean, not even Freedom or Patriot or Jingoist Plaza, but Democracy. If this pre-existed 9/11 than it is both somewhat stupider (why, absent a moment of mindless nationalism do you name a place after the basic idea of government in your country, its like naming something Bicameral Village) and a little better, insofar as it least its based on stupid thinking which is not spontaneously reactionary.

I will at least acknowledge the state of the world before I go to sleep, though I am not sure when that will be or what state of affairs it will correlate with. Barak Obama rocks, I guess that is at least one positive thing to take from tonight, no matter what else goes on. If you live in Alaska, and you haven't voted yet, fucking get out and vote. Then stop and hang around with the seals and polar bears while you take your dog sled into Juneau during the 100 hour long days.



Tuesday, November 02, 2004

You’re an Accident, Waiting to Happen, You’re a Piece of Glass, Left in the Butt

So my first graphics note for the evening concerns the "cutaway" graphic that both CNN and NBC are using copies of. Basically there is a little screen within the screen that is tinted blue or red and has a picture of the candidate, the word winner, maybe the word incumbent, and a check mark on it. The weird thing is not this basic graphic, but the fact that they have made this graphic a sort of free-standing and rotatable billboards. For some reason it doesn't just sit in the middle of the screen and like, usefully convey its information. Instead it sort of swoops in from the side and then slowly turns back and forth right to left. Maybe this is supposed to be some sort of waffling from conservatism to liberality, I don't know. If it wasn't consciously done for some purpose like that, why the fuck would you bother to design your graphic in this way. Doesn't it just seem like an assload of unnecessary work? Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm not gonna go through and highlight every letter "q" in the papers I grade, even though it might look cool, its a waste of my fucking time.

CNN just had a 10 minute countdown to the 10:00 poll closings and at the end of that 10 minutes Wolf Blitzer told us the shocking fact that CNN was prepared to call...Utah. Thanks Wolf, we were all pretty concerned about Utah. We knew they would probably keep liquor sales limited to between 11 and 11:15 on Tuesdays, but we thought they might vote Democrat. Lets do a quick countdown here...5....4....3.....2........1........Pizza tastes good. See how much of a fucking waste that was, now do it for 10 minutes and end with an even less surprising fact.

Random unrelated note. I started a moblog. That makes me officially a cool hip tech wizard. I am like fucking Nick Burns up in here. Other random note, there was a pug halloween costume contest on the news the other day. There were pug dogs dressed up like tootsie rolls, hot dogs, batman, raggedy ann, a rasta-dog, and other really really cute things. I fucking love pug dogs.

Kerry is down 171-112. Not a single swing state has been called yet. As of yet the election is not close, but it hasn't gone either way yet. To say the election is "shockingly close" is like saying a 3-0 football game is that close after one possession. Wait until there is at least one relevant decision before you talk like this. Two more irrelevant facts: Bush wins Arkansas and Utah. 182-112. This can either end in half an hour or linger on for days. I am scared.



You’re an Accident, Waiting to Happen, You’re a Piece of Glass, Left in the Butt

So my first graphics note for the evening concerns the "cutaway" graphic that both CNN and NBC are using copies of. Basically there is a little screen within the screen that is tinted blue or red and has a picture of the candidate, the word winner, maybe the word incumbent, and a check mark on it. The weird thing is not this basic graphic, but the fact that they have made this graphic a sort of free-standing and rotatable billboards. For some reason it doesn't just sit in the middle of the screen and like, usefully convey its information. Instead it sort of swoops in from the side and then slowly turns back and forth right to left. Maybe this is supposed to be some sort of waffling from conservatism to liberality, I don't know. If it wasn't consciously done for some purpose like that, why the fuck would you bother to design your graphic in this way. Doesn't it just seem like an assload of unnecessary work? Maybe I'm just lazy, but I'm not gonna go through and highlight every letter "q" in the papers I grade, even though it might look cool, its a waste of my fucking time.

CNN just had a 10 minute countdown to the 10:00 poll closings and at the end of that 10 minutes Wolf Blitzer told us the shocking fact that CNN was prepared to call...Utah. Thanks Wolf, we were all pretty concerned about Utah. We knew they would probably keep liquor sales limited to between 11 and 11:15 on Tuesdays, but we thought they might vote Democrat. Lets do a quick countdown here...5....4....3.....2........1........Pizza tastes good. See how much of a fucking waste that was, now do it for 10 minutes and end with an even less surprising fact.

Random unrelated note. I started a moblog. That makes me officially a cool hip tech wizard. I am like fucking Nick Burns up in here. Other random note, there was a pug halloween costume contest on the news the other day. There were pug dogs dressed up like tootsie rolls, hot dogs, batman, raggedy ann, a rasta-dog, and other really really cute things. I fucking love pug dogs.

Kerry is down 171-112. Not a single swing state has been called yet. As of yet the election is not close, but it hasn't gone either way yet. To say the election is "shockingly close" is like saying a 3-0 football game is that close after one possession. Wait until there is at least one relevant decision before you talk like this. Two more irrelevant facts: Bush wins Arkansas and Utah. 182-112. This can either end in half an hour or linger on for days. I am scared.



Seasons Don’t Fear the Reaper, Nor Do the Wind or the Sun or the Butt

As of yet CNN is moving faster than NBC, the former called West Virginia about 10 minutes before NBC did. There seems to be alot of discussion about the process of calling elections and I guess that is not a surprise given the problems with calling the last election. It sounds like these networks would rather risk calling the election later than everyone else rather than calling it wrong. I wonder how the politics and economics of that situation works.

Holy shit, NBC is reporting that 1 out of every 7 voters in North Carolina is under 30 years old. I would gather that is a huge part of the reason that race is still too close to call. I said a couple weeks ago that if we pull this off we will might have P. Diddy to thank for it and youth turnout is looking that way. "Vote or die motherfucker, motherfucker vote or die, if you don't fucking vote I'll stick this knife right in your eye."

If you didn't watch last week's South Park you missed a funny set of jokes. While I like John Kerry significantly better than Giant Douche (notably, Giant Douche was fucking funny), I think the final quote of the episode ("Your choice is almost always between a douche and a turd") is more than occassionally accurate.

Kerry takes a giant swing in the 8:00 hour, jumping 74 electoral votes and securing New Jersey, a fairly minor swing state, but the first of the contests certainly. There is a woman on NBC news who looks like Donna Pinciatti grew up, went shopping at Banana Republic, and put on a turtleneck. Redheads get very little play on the national news. I think it has something to do with carrots.Pizza!



I Believe in a Thing Called Love, Just Listen to the Rhythm of My Butt

I have said, probably on this forum at some point in the past, that I have some level of respect for Eminem. In this context I was probably talking about two things, one, his ability as a satirist, embodied in things like the Dido sample and all the videos that show up on MTV, or the lines about Columbine in "I Am," two, his ability to make politics fairly powerful in a musical context. I have all the same beefs everyone else does about his obvious problems in relation to gender and sexual minorities. The violence is sometimes bothersome to me, but I think sometime used effectively and overall just not relevant, though that is my own particularly desensitized self. Anyway, I saw this link in a number of places and I was bored during one of today's debates, so, I watched it online. I would post a link, but I think you can find it if you want it. It was on the Guerilla News Network, fucking google it.

Anyway, its fucking incredible. I am not a music fan, I don't listen to protest music, but I can say without question that it is the most effective politically active music video I have ever seen. Its fucking brilliant. The song is okay, its not the greatest tune in the world, but its pretty solid, more importantly, whoever wrote/designed/directed the video made almost all the right choices. The themes are not tremendously original, but are certainly correct. More importantly, there are a couple scenes with West Wing quality metaphoric images and some brilliantly pounding moments where the crescendo-ing nature of the music corresponds with perfectly done animations. I won't pretend that this is the best video ever made, nor that every moment of it is rare-form of the pure brilliance, but its fucking good. I don't know if it helps or hurts our chances in the election, though the possibility that it will motivate a couple kids to vote doesn't hurt and I can't really imagine that there is anyone who will, as a result of this thing, go vote for Bush though they hadn't planned to before. Safe to say, its good, and if you haven't watched it already, it gets my recommendation.

I wrote this over the weekend, during a debate round actually. As usual I forgot to post it. I am going to do so now, on election night, and join up with the pundits to blog the election. So tune in for my round the clock coverage. Except for when our pizza and wings come, I will then take a break.

At the moment we have just seen the second set of closings, nothing surprising quite yet, but Bush has 39. Thats largely a coincedence of the fact that 4 Bush states close early, but its scary nonetheless. Ohio closed at 7:30, we'll start hearing things soon I am sure. My coverage is based primarily on NBC and CNN, though there may be some MSNBC mixed in there. If you live somewhere where the polls are still open and you haven't voted, go fucking do it. I know it gets old to hear it so often, but the fact of the matter is that insofar as voter numbers stay down elections stay shitty, they continue to be dominated by pandering and smearing. Although turnout is already promising, I think even 75% of elligible voters doesn't prove the absolutel necessity of intelligent debate. Back soon.



Monday, October 25, 2004

I Got a Crummy Job It Don’t Pay Near Enough To Buy the Things It Takes To Win Me Some of Your Butt

Wow, like, holy fucking ass wow. I mean, HOLY-FUCKING-ASS wow. Because of last week's Rochester Tournament and the circumstances surrounding where we were staying and when. As a result I did not get to enjoy my usual Thursday evening viewing of Lost. Thank God that I tivoed it, as it may be one of the best hours of television that I have ever seen. I am not going to say much about it, since I wouldn't dream to give away a ssecret this good when people may still have the program recorded without having seen it. Not to mention, a number of people will hopefully end up with the DVD. Let me simply say this. There are moments in TV and movies where soemthign you never saw coming, never in a million years, strikes you in a sense I can only call miraculous I think these moments are seperate from the "reconstruction" moments involved at the conclusion of suspense films. In the latter something fills in existing gaps, it makes all the pieces fall into place, the example I use most often is The Usual Suspects where it is only in the film's final moments that we learn the answer to the overall question of the story. This difference is emphasized by the fact that the question in that film was not just "the question of the story" but the promotional value of the film, posters and buttons and the like emblazoned with "Who is Keyzer Soze?" Those are incredible moments, but these are structurally different. The moments I am talking about don't resolve the central question of the story, they are things you never see coming. Things that are unjustifiable but absolutely reshape the question within which the story is set to begin with. This general example isn't quite right, but its moving in the direction and the only one I can come up with now: take the "first switch" in movies like Just Cause or Wild Things. Overall you still don't know what happened, who killed who etc., but you know that the way you were thinking about it before is no longer the case.

We had a weekend off, the opportunity to lay around the house, get things done, not judge debates. These are all things I greatly enjoy. We cleaned a majority of the house (living area, bathroom, and kitchen) in an exceedingly thorough fashion which, while I freaking loathe the process, has quality results. We then decided to actually go out like real people do and see a movie. This is, of course like the worst time of the year to see a movie, since it is just before any of the big holiday films come out and after all the summer and early fall stuff. I would like to see Team America, but Katie is not about to walk into anything with Trey and Matt attached to it. Anyway, the only other thing that interested us was I <3 Huckabees a David O, Russel film which I had heard almost nothing about, but has a fucking incredible cast: Jude Law, Lily Tomlin, Jason Schwartzman, Dustin Hoffman, Naomi Watts, and Mark Wahlberg. The movie was described as an "existential comedy" and the little I read before we went to the show was interesting.

Overall, I was really impressed. Andy will wet himself when he sees it, it both has his existential jazz and the slightly trippy but not narratively disturbing elements. Its astounding that these actors have all collaborated on a film which is going to flop like this one is, but you should see it, either if you want to see a film before something like the new Nicholas Cage flick comes out or whenever the DVD shows up at Blockbuster. It has some really intelligent dialogue and, if you know any philosophy, existentialism or those surrounding it especially, you will at least get somewhat interpellated by the ideas. I would say its a much more "normal" Charlie Kaufman movie with more explicitly philosophical premises. There are alot of themes connected to those in Eternal Sunshine, for instance. Anyway, thats my film recommendation for the day. It ties closely in to the story I am about to tell regarding one Mr. APK...

The story begins on Friday around 5:00 pm EST. I was sittin all back and relaxin all cool watching an episode of Las Vegas on TiVo after finishing chapter 6 of Seminar XVII. The phone rings and it is the sanj. He and Andy, living together like a couple truly in love out in Eugene, were judging at a debate tournament there somewhere. This is the story as Sanjay told it to me over the phone: The two of them had headed down away from the tournament to have a particular type of smoke under a bridge. While they were doing so Andy headed to a corner to do what he usually does when he is outside, piss somewhere inappropriate. So in the process of doing so he looked to his left and saw the same thing Sanjay had seen just a moment before, a big fucking spider descending from the ceiling. He sees it and reacts as you would expect, like leaps off somewhere, and yelps. Immediately afterward he turned to Sanjay and gave him the intense stare that I am sure many of you have encountered. Really if you have hung out with Andy for any length of time you know this look, it usually precedes a statement like "I can see your soul and you cannot comprehend the trancendent infinity of my predigiousness" or " Dobs, why can't I ask that guy if he likes my balls." He gives Sanjay this look and says "Thank God my penis was out or I would've pissed myself." This has been shortened to simply the "Thank God my penis was out" which I think is a classic Andyism if there has ever been one.

Andy doesn't understand quite how hilarious this story was, maybe because he can't picture himself in this situation. The last couple times I talked to Andy he has been yelling at me regarding my blog, which he refuses to read because he has been told that I use APK stories on a regular basis. This is true of course, but I don't think they are any different than the Andy stories I tell to pretty much everyone I know. I told the story about Grandpa Tony's because it is one of the funniest fucking things ever, I have told many stories where Andy ends up with his pants off. They are too good to pass up. I have offered Andy on several occassions the chance to start his own blog and tell these stories, but he refuses like the obstinant fuck-ass that he is. Fundamentally, people have to hear them, they are far far too good. It would be wrong to withhold them from the world. I would really appreciate it if Sanjay or Andy would keep a blog just detailing their life in Eugene, because I can't get enough access to their exploits to pump them out. Since Andy confirmed that there is a little love spat between them every day I really would like to hear the details. I'll even fucking start a blog for them to solve the problem, then if they come up limp, its on them. Fuckers.

Pack won, played hella good, Ahman Green busted one for 90 yards, it was sweet. Its been a sweet long sort of weekend, back to life, back to reality I suppose.



Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Its Hard To Believe, That I'm All Alone, At Least I Have Her Love, The City She Loves Butt

Important things since the last post, for instance, the Packers actually won an NFL football game. I didnt really see it, since I was at the Rochester debate tourney and all, but a win is a win is a win. The little football that I did see was some of Sunday and Monday night and while both of those games were okay, I will admit officially that the Vikings look scary good this season. I don't consider myself a hater, except to teams like Dallas and Washington and Florida State etc. and I have been admitting, pretty much since week two, that the Vikes are going to win the NFC North. But throwing three fucking 5 touchdown games is sick, like leprosy sick. I mean, yes, he has the Freak on his side, but dude was hurt for most of Sunday night and still the 5 tds come. Anyway, one of those touchdowns got PA's KFAN announcing played on Pump Up the Volume and I always feel like I'm getting mad indie cred when one of the KFAN crew gets national publicity.

I am not going to go on with any significant discussion of the other notable sports event which is occuring literally as I type, since it is going to be more and more interesting depending later on. As of yet the entire field at Yankee Stadium has not simply collapsed engulfing both franchises, nor did the negative areas of Boston (i.e. everything that is not Lumiere Restaurant and the Newton Marriot) unexplainably vanish. More to say about that later, at least hopefully.

The Rochester Debate thingy went alright, though it was far too similar, in my opinion to simply hosting two debate tournaments in a row. I mean I wasn't officially responsible for anything, but Katie was, and since I prefer to be with her whenever possible, when she was awake I was awake and when she was lugging shit around, I was also, for the most part, lugging shit around. It was tiring. I judged all the prelims, few of which bore anything besides a passing interest. I saw one affirmative which was about 2 hours of work away from being awesome, but besides that nothing interesting. I got out of most of the elims, with the unfortunate exception of finals in open. The good team from Vermont was debating the up and comers out of New School-Fordham and while there are three people in this situation who are relatively equally skilled, the one person who was not made the decision quite easy. Thank all that is fucking holy notably, since I was as tired as an assbear and not having to wade through the link debate on the Agamben argument made my night.

The NS/Fordham team is running this SUV argument (if you actually care to read about it you need to go to that link, save the attachment to the desktop, open it with Word, and go down to page 25, I am aware that this is way too much for a stupid aff summary, but take it or fucking leave it and then go fuck yourself) which, while I have some affinity for, has some nonsensical portions as well. I was trying to explain, but was apparently too tired to do so (see above re: assbear) something that I think is potentially dangerous. I mean, I probably shouldn't say dangerous, since I don't think anyone besides me would even think about this fact, but regardless, I think its something which makes them wrong. Basically, the beginning of the affirmative is a quote from some auto manufacturer explaining how they perceive SUV owners as insecure poorly hung rich guys. It lists all the things that SUV owners tend to think or believe, uncomfortable with their social status and marriage etc. While they aren't literally saying that all these things are true, it seems to me (at least from what I heard in the 1ac, the dude on the team suggested that they may be attempting to complicate this fact, but in hearing the initial presentation I didn't see how) that the remainder of the affirmative essentially confirmed these claims in more academic language. The first part of the case was about how SUVs serve our purposes in securing security, how they attempt to guard us from a destabilized and frightening world by making sure that at the very least our cars give the impression of unyielding strenght. The problem is that the authors they use for the impact part of the aff (just traditional threat con shizz, Dillon and Campbell) explicitly criticize this kind of gestalt psychology. The problem is that the things they are describing, the way security functions, and international relations operate, are structural. They aren't determined on an individual psychological level, if they were the terror talk argument would be empirically denied, threats could be proven real.

The fact that Kim Jong Il (I assure you that should be "IL" and not "the second" as Katie and I once heard an extemper call him) has some individual neuroses which makes him a "threat" doesn't justify American security policy. If someone's psychology proved they were only constructed as a threat, that wouldn't prove the argument true either, it just wouldn't prove it wrong. Fundamentally, you don't deal with the psychology of the question because you can't control for its contingencies and in utilizing the examples that may favor you, you ultimately justify the methodology itself. How bout a completely unscientifically phrased example: take something like the crude conception of "penis envy." It may be the case that most or all of the people who have the symptoms of such a "disorder" have small penises. The point however, and everyone from Freud onwardshas emphasized as such, is that this correlation is irrelevant, structurally the puzzle fits and only in understanding it from the point of view of its structure can we ever begin to deal with it. If a person "suffering from penis envy" turned out to have a monster schlong and you had accepted this psychologism you would be blanked, you couldn't treat them because you had already discounted any possible diagnosis. There you have it, my first irrelevant debate blog of the season.

I will likely have something to say about television sometime soon, especially since tomorrow is the season premiere of the West Wing. I am ps-izzedy-psyched, both for the series itself as well as the proximity it represents towards the OC season premiere as well. My final note for this day will be a mad props shoutout to both Kate Marie Baxter-Kauf and her mother, whom I briefly doubted at the grocery store, when I was told of the Kauf family tradition: a bowl of candy corn mixed with spanish peanuts. For some reason my feeble human mind was unable to wrap itself around the truth that struck me upon my first bite, ITS A MOTHERASSFUCKING SALTED NUT-ROLL. Since the Salted Nut Roll is both a delicious piece of candy and the best sexually suggestive candy name in the business, I think its clear how much this rocks. Go mix 1 part candy corn with 2 parts peanuts (either spanish or simply salted) and dig in. Crank it up fuckers.



Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Wanna Tell You a Story, Bout a Woman I Know, When It Comes to Loving, Oh She Steals the Butt

Its Saturday morning, it is too early, I am too in a debate round at the University of Rochester and am way too judging it. Anywho, there have been some things since Saturday, officially dubbed Apple-Pickin', Minnesota Sports Losin' day. All in all last weekend was about as bad as sports weekends come, the Twins going down despite the valiant efforts of Johan Santana, ultimately succumbing to the great evil that is the New York Baseball Yankees. The Gophs suffered yet another comeback victory, this one, thankfully, not quite as dramatic, at the hands of the Michigan Wolverines, and the Packers just played like ass, I mean complete and total ass. I think its quite clear that we have the worst defense in the NFL and while I truly do believe that there are a bunch of legitimate reasons that this is the case (i.e. we fired our defenseive co-ordinator because, while I admit he was no Romeo Crinnel, he gave up one long play (again, I know this was a big long play and believe me, it hurst me every bit as much as it hurts you), Mike McKenzie is a stupid dick-fart-fuck-face, Ahmad Carroll is a way not ready for prime time playa, not to mention that everyone else on the defense is fucking hurt) its not excusable. Brett and Ahman both looked ugly on Monday night as well and while at least part of Brett's disgusting interception-fest is attributable to the fact that he was desperately trying to get the Pack back in the game by himself, which shuts down the run game, which itself kills the threat of the play-action pass, eventually meaning, put both your safeties on Javon Walker and you are good to go. Anyway, you can't go down 21 nothing in 3 series and attempt to run a balanced offensive attack, which, realistically is the only way the Pack wins. I could also note that we lost Flannigan for the season last week and since, much in the same way as the Dude's rug in relation to the room, he really tied the line together, our blocking wasn't especially prime either. I had fairly modest estimates of the team at the outset of the season, but now I'm just praying for 6 or so wins.

On to brighter subjects, as there are many things to be happy about. In the first place, there is thai food. Katie and I are in Rochester for the debate tournament this weekend and since there is a Thai restaurant right down the street and nothing in Buffalo at all that even resembles the cuisine. So we headed oot. They honestly only need to bring one menu to the table when we go out for Thai because I have never seen Katie order anything that isn't chicken pad thai. I even entirely understand the whole order the same thing every time you go somewhere idea, but I can't imagine doing it at a thai place, where my favorite thing is the slight alternation in what goes in what form of what stir fry or curry. Anyway, last night I got a pretty basic chicken cocunut curry, which was fucking delicious. Just the right level of spicy, exactly what I was in the mood for. The only thing that blew was that the place wanted to charge me extra for more white rice, like more plain steamed white rice. In case you were curious, white rice in the quantities they are dealing with at a restaurant runs about 2 cents for approximately 160,000,000 pounds. You want me to give you a fucking dollar for a bowl of it? What the fuck. I'm paying 8 bucks for the curry, you can't throw in the world's easiest to grow, most abundant, and overall cheapest carbohydrate in on the side. The ice in my water cost them more. I wouldn't normally care except that, as we all know, once you are finished eating all the items in the curry, you dump the sauce on a big pile of rice and let it soak up into a flavorful effusion of deliciousness. Anyway, the place was moderately priced and pretty tasty, so I let them get away with the lack of rice dilemma and until someone starts making pad thai in Lockport we will probably stop back.

Katie has gotten me into the habit of reading political real-tme blogs that have sprung up around the debate. I really like the idea of these spontaneous jokes that people are making during the actual text of something going on, especially when that something is not especially interesting to watch on its own, i.e. a presidential debate. I don't know when cnn and other news places decided that they needed this as a feature, nor am I sure who decided that the Douchebag for Liberty (a name I borrow from Jon Stewart for Robert Novak, who would make my list as one of the dumbest individuals in the world) should for some reason participate in a medium with which I am pretty sure he has no familarity. I think it would be kind of fun to run one of those things, or at least just post at random intervals throughout some occurence. I fundamenally link all this back to a couple things. The first is comedy central's first foray into political commentary, that being the running commentary featuring (I believe) both Dennis Miller and Bill Mahr during the State of the Union address. They had a ticker on the bottom of the screen which was essentially just a short blog of jokes that they typed in. It was funny. The other obviously related phenom is all VH1, beginning with Pop-up Video and continuing to what has now completely overtaken the entirety of that channel, which is, in one way or another, a modification of I Love the 80s. That can include the various lists of 20, 40, or 100 videos, songs, scenes, etc., the recaps of given years or events, Best Week Ever, etc. which all operate on the same formula, show a clip of something, then have various comedians, psuedo-celebrites, and writers for Maxim/FHM/Stuff/etc. make seemingly impromptu witty comments on the lyrics or images. Don't get me wrong, I love these shows, but if you gave me an hour with the Sklar brothers, a couple of the frat boy-English majors who edit Blender, and Tone Loc, I could pump the same thing out. Anyway, I see a contiguity between these phenomena and though I recognize there is little point here, its my blog, so go fuck yourself.

I wrote this on Saturday, I am posting it Tuesday night, because I am actually so lazy that I haven't been playing around with my computer. I will write more, at least we get this weekend off.



Saturday, October 09, 2004

The World is a Vampire, Sent to Drain, Secret Destroyers, Hold You Up To the Butt

We had a hella nice day today, which is especially important given the ridiculously low number of Saturdays we will have available to do nice things. A majority of the time our Saturdays are spent on college campuses, in random classrooms, listening to college kids blabber about shit that most of them don't understand. That sentence was not intended to undercut the value of debate, only to indicate that for me, as a judge, it cannot compare with the enjoyment factor of what Katie and I did today.

We got up comfortably late, since we didn't go to sleep last night until almost 3 in the morning. Considering I usually start harasssing Katie about how much sleep we need even before the Daily Show is on, I figure when I have no excuse I should let her stay up late. I think we got up around noon today, so we checked our email, showered, etc. before jumping in the car. We had planned, for about a week or so, to go pick some apples. I was telling Katie at some point about my fond memories of apple picking when I was younger and how much of an enjoyable fall activity it was. Katie eventually located an apple picking place which was only about 15 minutes from our apartment and had some pretty sweet shit to do. The only thing I was worried about was that it would be too little kid intensive and as a young married couple we would feel overly ridiculous.

Well, there were alot of little kids, there were alot of parents, but it wasn't ridiculous, and let me tell you, it was awesome, kitschy, absolutely, but I've oft-commented on my love of kitsch. Anyway, the first thing we saw was a little petting zoo. Nothing special but very cute, there was a big fat black pig which was really cute, and two llamas, and a couple of goats and some sheep. In a seperate pen that was right by the pumpkin barn there was another little goat which I think Katie would have brought home with her, if she didn't think it woud eat her J. Crew tanktops. Then there was a series of little barn like places, a chicken barbecue, an apple barn and little wine bar, a snack area, a cider barn, and a fudge/ice cream/bakery place. We wandered and enjoyed looking at all the pumpkins and gords and the like, then went to get a glass of cider. The cider barn was also the home of warm fresh donuts. Thats right, as you approached the cider barn you could smell the donuty goodness wafting out the door, I mean it was almost state fair quality. They weren't mini, mind you, full size cinamon sugar mofos, but incredible. We each had one along with a glass of cider, then decided to go pick some apples.

The sweet deal that is involved in apple picking does not end with the fact that it is about 80% cheaper off the tree than out of the store. We paid 8 bucks for a 1/2 bushel sized bag, which just means about a billion apples. We didn't weigh it, but I would say 25+ pounds easy. On a pretty hella good sale at Topps, we could get 10 pounds of apples for that cost. Not to mention these were the freshest tastiest apples possible. The type that go brown while you are eating them because they have literally zero preservatives. In addition you get a free hayride to and from the pickable section of the orchard, which is only about 5 minutes each way, but it was enjoyable. You also get all the apples you care to eat as you dance and twirl amongst the rows of trees. This late in the season we could choose from Red Delicious, Empire, McIntosh, Golden Delicious, and Crispin apples. The Red Delicious and McIntosh were not at all bad, but they are just your average everyday apples, nothing special about them. We filled our bag with the other three, though we ate at least one of each in the field.

If you've never done it, I can't explain to you how fucking weird it is to just walk up to a tree, pull something off of it, and eat it. I mean, I know that apples are like this and all and the same thing exists for pretty much every fruit and vegetable, but its just fucked up, reach up and grab an apple and eat it. If there were Cheese-It trees and you just walked down the white cheddar row then the BBQ jack one it would be pretty fucked up, and it doesn't seem any less fucked up if you substitute apples. Regardless, the three apples we did select were great. Golden Delicious are probably my favorite in general, though I like Fuji's and Winesaps as well. These ones were perfect examples, tart and crisp with a bright green skin that had patches of pink just peeking through. The Empire apples are the original New York fruit, and if you like true bright-fire-engine-red-hot-for-teacher-doctor-away-for-a-day apples these are the nuts. They are juicy and sweet, the type that are self juicing in a good tart or apple crisp. The Crispins are right in between, still an apple-martini green shade with a sweet-and-sour beauty that would seem to satisfy even the most discriminating taster. Yummy.

After our return hay ride we had some barbecued chicken for lunch and did our shopping. We added a gallon of cider, a regular old squash, and a butternut squash, one of which will be a component of tonight's dinner. That dinner, which will be eaten a bit late, I should admit, since we had chicken at like 3, will feature center cut pork chops, fresh squash with brown sugar and butter, and homemade applesauce, which I will fabricate in that not too distant future. I hate to end two consecutive paragraphs in the same way, but...Yummy.

I am now watching the tivoed edition of the Gophers v. Wolverines. I am a Big 10 fanboy, so I can't say I hate Michigan, but if there was a school I had to send out, there is no question that the blue and gold go bye bye (no offense Cort).Not that I am a Penn State fan either, mind you, but I digress... I cannot remember seeing the Gophers wins a game against Lloyd's crew, and since the stat I saw indicates they've lost 15 in a row, thats probably about accurate. I also fucking love this Goph's team since its about time someone saw Maroney's raw footballing talent. Ever since Coach Anderson told him he had the flexibility of a seventy-two year old woman I knew he would be a potential NFL halfback. He broke an 80 yarder in the second quarter that was top-play caliber and shot another one off-tackle right that he was one step from going all the way on, still made about a 15 yard gain. In an attempt to be fair, I should note that seven minutes into the 3rd quarter (just before the gophs go up 21-17) Michigan executed what may be the best run blitz I have ever seen. Anywho, ski-u-mah.

If I bored you with politizzle yesterday, at least be glad that I bored you with produce today. Cider, sauce, maybe pie, my place, tonight.



Backbeat The Word is On The Street That The Fire in Your Heart is Butt

This is not a political blog, I don't think anyone has any questions about that. That doesn't mean I don't have any political opinions obviously, nor that I don't discuss them. For the most part what it means is that I don't want to bore you with what I see as glaringly obvious points of view. That said I have to mention how painful it is to watch these debates, if you wish to actually refer to them as such. I don't expect Kerry and Bush to spew down NDT style, but it would be interesting to at least see an extended exchange on ideas, not just alternating 2 minute and 90 second orations followed by two 30 second "rebuttals." Seriously, if you want to keep the time limits roughly the same, why don't you do 10 alternating 30 second speeches, which at the very least would encourage development of an issue, maybe more so than Charlie's valiant attempts to focus on unclear ideas.

Anyway, here is what will be my brief opinion on the debates: Bush is the least convincing person of all time. He is obviously doing better tonight than he did last week, though that is alot like doing better PR than Tianneman Square. That said, he still sucks. I mean, I know, factually, that there are experts talking to this jackass day and fucking night leading up to this shit, and that pretty much everything he said is planned in advance, but still he does it. Obviously he fails to bring specifics or explanations or warrants for anything he says and though John Kerry isn't Toulmin re-incarnate he is at least attempting to explain something. More over than that, he is presenting arguments that they have to recognize have entirely failed to convince anyone. I know that all the handlers told the president "when you don't have anything to say, which will happen alot because you have the intelligence of a severed clitoris, resort to one of these prepared things," and they have made some attempts tonight (and even on the veep shit on Tuesday) to adapt those arguments to make them effectual, but funadmentally, they are just fucking worthless bullshit. A couple examples;

1) flip flopping--I don't understand why anyone gives a fuck about this, seriously, I don't think the worst novice debater of all time would ever enter into a round with this as their round winner, you aren't saying what you once said, thats all you got. I think the Kerry camp has made most of the answers they need to but moreover, why is this a reason to vote for Bush, give up this argument and defend your fucking policy decisions.

2) Kerry and Edwards didn't show up at the Senate much: dude, you were on vacation for like 2 of the 4 years you were president. I don't remember what the stat was from Farenheit 9/11, but Crawford is like the second White House. Its not like they skipped close important votes because they were drinking with Bruce Springsteen and Susan Sarandon, they skipped 93-2 votes because they were campaigning for the fucking presidency. Bush desperately wants this argument to matter, but dude, no one fucking cares, thats all there is to it, it doesn't work.

3) You are demeaning our allies: seriously, you went for the "you forgot Poland" bit, that was a stupid choice, but it was last week. Since that debate, however, POLAND FUCKING WITHDREW FROM THE FUCKING WAR. I know they aren't leaving until 2k5, but they are fucking leaving. Saying that 90% of the losses are American doesn't demean Poland, this demeans Poland: "Poland should go fuck itself, it should take all the sausages it has ever made and shove them up its collective ass. Fuck Poland like it was a monkey on steroids with a sign on its back that says "shove all my sausages here" and has an arrow drawn towards its butthole. Fuck Poland and everybody who looks like Poland." They aren't demeaning our allies by saying we are spending more than them.

Okay, thats all I will say about this situation for now. I'm sure I won't make it all the way to election without more blabber, but I apologize for subjecting you to all that. How bout a discussion of some T-2-tha-V.

ABC has literally exploded in my mind, since they have 2 shows with a tremendous amount of promise. The first I have only seen one epsiode of, that being Depserate Housewives. I give full and mad props to Katie for tivoing and suggesting this program and it is very clear from the pilot that this in someway echoes Twin Peaks. I don't know that it will go all David Lynch-y, but it could and I am excited at the possibility. Its a Sunday night show, so I recommend it. Even more important is Lost, a show which has redefined the TV landscape for me at the moment. This show is great, I have no idea at all where these twists are leading, none at all. There are moments of recognition which are Usual Suspects-ish in their puzzle locking quality (this is a poor way of relating the feeling you have when learning something all of a sudden makes alot of unrelated details fall into place) and there is some hella intelligent writing and editing. There were even a couple of chilling moments, when I literally shivered in my living room.The thing about mystery shows is their potential to jump the shark really quickly, but I have some faith in this one, though I have no idea why I would ever believe ABC.

Another TV thing I want to mention came up in a conversation Katie and I were having the other day. A program that I spent many many hours watching, usually in MTV's classic midnight marathons. There was nothing like hanging out in my parents basement with the whole crew, laughing, and running out at virtually every commercial for a cigarette. The show in the middle was a delightful romp which was, to my knowledge, the first televised attempt to capitalize on the teen-sex-comedy genre. Yes, it had its touching moments and its teaching times. Yes, it had its beautiful people in odd situations and it had the unexpected kinkyness. It had cute college-girl actors who left their ninth rejected audition for Noxema commercials in a row and headed straight to MTV studios, got into their cute bra and panty sets and hopped into the generic college dorm room set to take a shot at what I am sure you have already named. Thats right its Undressed. I loved that program so much.

If you take a look at the IMDB page for undressed you will notice the multiplicity of actors who were featured. There were usually in the area of 3-4 completely independent plotlines on each episode. They weren't exactly synchronous, ie: if three stories started in epsiode 1, one would end in episode 2, one in 3, and one in 4 (or so) and others would pick up and run for 2-4 episodes. Hence, while actors occassionally repeated in different contexts, for the most part there were just like 20 people per season. I mean, the nice thing about the sex scenes set up in this program were that they only tended to involve 2 or so characters, your extras didn't really count for much. Of all those characters who got credited over the illustrious history of this show, I don't think anyone got billed better than Whitney Anderson . That one speaks for itself.

I don't think Undressed is coming on the air any time soon, but I can guaruntee that my tivo would be working ovetime on that front. Final thoughts: ski-u-mah re: the Michigan game, fuck the Yankees like they were Poland, and Katie and I may be going apple picking tomorrow, so cider and sauce at 6600 Dysinger tomorrow.